38 Penn State Fraternity Members Have Been Kicked Out For Allegedly Participating In An Awful Facebook Group
Kappa Delta Rho's national headquarters expelled 38 fraternity members from Penn State University's chapter on Monday for allegedly keeping a private Facebook page with nude photos of drunk and unconscious female students, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In addition to the 38 expulsions, some members will be moved to alumni status, and the fraternity will be suspended for three years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Kappa Delta Rho executive director Joseph Rosenberg said in a statement that members who assumed responsibility for their actions regarding the photos wouldn't be expelled. The expulsions won't have any effect on the students' status at Penn State. A lawyer representing the fraternity declined Bustle's request for comment.
The Facebook page, its photos, and allegations of hazing were all revealed to police by former Kappa Delta Rho pledge and Penn State student James Vivenzio, who said he waited eight months for the university to take action before going to police in January, according to the WSJ. The incident became public in March, and Penn State announced that it would review its Greek system. Vivenzio is now suing Penn State and Kappa Delta Rho for alleged negligence in their actions surrounding the hazing he claims he underwent. Lisa Powers, a Penn State spokeswoman, emailed Bustle the following statement:
This incident was one of the many ongoing investigations into fraternities around the country. In its investigation of the Kappa Delta Rho chapter, Penn State said it found that some fraternity members engaged in sexual harassment and hazing that included a "persistent climate of humiliation" for women, according to the WSJ.
Philadelphia magazine published an interview with one of the men, who allegedly says he participated in the Facebook group, in March where he said the media was wrong in condemning the fraternity's actions. He said that, retrospectively, he regrets being in the group, but that it was "satire":
State College police are conducting a criminal investigation of the Facebook page, which they said had 144 active members that included students and graduates. In addition to the photos of women, police said there were pictures of marijuana and edibles, concentrates, ADD medication, and some cocaine. Police told Philadelphia magazine that fraternity members could face charges of violating privacy and harassment.
In the lawsuit, Vivenzio claims he was burned with cigarettes, force-fed buckets of liquor mixed with urine, vomit and hot sauce, and made to guzzle alcohol as part of fraternity hazing rituals, according to the WSJ. Vivenzio's attorney, Aaron Freiwald, alleged that there was a culture of physical and psychological abuse of fraternity pledges and others at Penn State's Kappa Delta Rho chapter, according to the Post-Gazette:
Writing for Slate, Amanda Marcotte pointed out that there doesn't seem to be anything satirical about the photos or the hazing allegations:
Images: Getty Images (2)